Peter D. Salins makes the case that SATs predict graduation rates more accurately than high school grade-point averages.
Among the campuses that raised selectivity, the average incoming student’s SAT score increased 4.5 percent (at Cortland) to 13.3 percent (Old Westbury), while high school grade-point averages increased only 2.4 percent to 3.7 percent — a gain in grades almost identical to that at campuses that did not raise their SAT cutoff.While I think his thesis is interesting, the more pertinent take away from this analysis is just how low the graduation rate is with or without higher SAT scores. Going from 1/6 of your students graduating to 1/3 is a good improvement, but it still isn't good. Even 59.2% is really low in my book. Beyond trying to get students with higher SAT scores, I think these schools need to look at their entire process and question why so many students don't graduate. My guess is that they can make improvements in graduation rates far greater than what they are seeing from requiring higher SAT scores.
Yet when we look at the graduation rates of those incoming classes, we find remarkable improvements at the increasingly selective campuses. These ranged from 10 percent (at Stony Brook, where the six-year graduation rate went to 59.2 percent from 53.8 percent) to 95 percent (at Old Westbury, which went to 35.9 percent from 18.4 percent).
Most revealingly, graduation rates actually declined at the seven SUNY campuses that did not raise their cutoffs and whose entering students’ SAT scores from 1997 to 2001 were stable or rose only modestly. Even at Binghamton, always the most selective of SUNY’s research universities, the graduation rate declined by 2.8 percent.
via NY Times